Helium balloon launched


A gigantic helium balloon carrying the largest solar telescope ever to lift off the earth’s surface has been launched from the Esrange Space Centre in Kiruna, Sweden.

The balloon, holding one million cubic metres of helium, lifted the solar observatory into the sky, reaching a height of 37km.

Only the uppermost part of the balloon was filled with helium; during the ascent the gas expands until it fills the entire balloon.

The solar observatory, better known as Sunrise, was developed and built under the lead of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany.

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